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Family Shepherds (By the author of Family Driven Faith): Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes [Kindle Edition]

Voddie Baucham Jr.

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Book Description

God has mandated the transfer of his truth from one generation to the next. Because this transfer takes place primarily in the home, Voddie Baucham Jr. seeks to guide men in faithfully shepherding their families. 

Derived from Baucham’s monthly meetings with men in his church, Family Shepherds calls men to accountability for their God-given responsibilities as husbands and fathers. This book will inspire them to live better, love better, and lead better so that their families will thrive in every way.

Baucham’s clear style and practical approach will help men protect their marriage, raise kingdom-minded children, value the synergy between church and home, and navigate difficult family dynamics. It will inspire them to carefully evaluate and live out their role in all areas of life. 

Family Shepherds is a book that every father needs and that every church will want as a resource for training the men in their congregations.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 727 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway Books (18 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00657QTPC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #358,221 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  62 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great look at what men are called to be in their homes 22 Nov. 2011
By Joshua Reich - Published on
Last week I read through Voddie Baucham's book Family Shepherds. Like his other books (Family Driven Faith and What He Must Be...If He wants to Marry my Daughter), it was a fast read but packed a lot into it.

There are not a lot of books out there that actually call men to be men in a biblical way. It either comes off as calling men to continue to abdicate their God given role and be weak, or to continue to abuse that role through sin. Most books about what God calls men and women to be spend most of their time saying, "This is what submission and leadership are not" but then never really say what it is. On top of this, most men and women who follow Jesus genuinely want to know what the Bible calls them to be. Most men want to lead their families, they are just not sure how.

If that's you, Voddie Baucham's books are a great place to start, particularly this one. The book is broken up into 4 parts: what the Bible calls husbands and fathers (family shepherds is what he calls them) to be, how to disciple your wife and kids, building a foundation in your marriage, and then how to evaluate your life and pace to fulfill what God has called you to.

What is a family shepherd? Baucham said he uses the term for a number of reasons, "It reminds me of the goal of my work. I'm shepherding my children toward Christ. My goal is not to raise children who conform to my hopes, wishes, dreams, or standards; my goal is to raise children who walk in the "discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4)."

Overall, the book was incredibly helpful for me. While some parts are things he has written on in other places, I especially found the chapters on family worship and discipline to be helpful. Katie and I have been talking through how you parent with the gospel instead of moralism (stop doing this, do that). The chapters on discipline were helpful in this way.

One of the other things that I learned was how important prioritizing your marriage over your children is. While I know this, have preached on it, Baucham added a reason I never thought of. I've said his first 2 reasons in sermons before: your kids will leave one day so they can't be the foundation of your marriage and prioritizing your marriage over your kids brings security to your kids lives. The third reason he gave was important to me, when he pointed out that as parents you are training your kids to be married. While I knew this, it is easy to forget that I am teaching my kids through my marriage to be married.

Here are a few other things that jumped out:

-Discipling our children is not about teaching them to behave in a way that won't embarrass us. We're working toward something much more important than that. We're actually raising our children with a view toward leading them to trust and to follow Christ.
-We must not present the gospel to our children as though it were a fairy tale. They must know that these are truths worthy to be believed. These things are verifiable; they really happened. Moreover, because they really happened, their implications are inescapable.
-We must know the difference between what the gospel requires and what the gospel produces.
-Family shepherds must see the spiritual leadership of their families as their God-given duty. This is not a program! This is the responsibility God has laid at the doorstep of every man who carries the title father. Those who neglect the spiritual welfare of their families are therefore derelict in their duties in the same way a hired hand would be if he were caught sleeping on the job.
-A seismic shift is represented by changing the focus from one that says, "I'm a lawyer, and that defines the way my family is shaped," to one that says, "My wife and I entered a covenant relationship designed to bring forth, train, and launch a generation of godly offspring, and that's going to direct all the rest of my decisions." This isn't to say men should slack off at work. It is, however, to say that they should not slack off at home (something we almost never hear). This is a radical change of perspective.
-There are at least 3 reasons that make prioritizing our children over our marriage both foolish and dangerous. First, our children will eventually leave home - and if they're the foundation of our family, then their departure will mean our family's demise. Second, our marriage forms the cornerstone of our children's security. Finally, one of our primary goals is to prepare our children for marriage.
-The greatest source of security our children have in this world is a God-honoring, Christ-centered marriage between their parents.

Here is an interview Voddie did about the book.

I highly recommend this book to men who are looking for ways to lead their families or are unsure about how to do it.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Equipping Men to Lead 2 Dec. 2011
By parkerj - Published on
The subtitle for this book "Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes" could not be more accurate for what this book is attempting to do. So the ultimate question is: Does this book accomplish its purpose? The answer is a resounding YES!! Voddie Baucham has continued his excellent writings/preaching on the family with this excellent book. The book is broken down into five parts. Part one is an introduction to the book and its purpose, namely, making sure readers have an understanding of a biblical view of the family. Parts two - five are actually a breakdown of what Grace Family Baptist Church goes through in their men's meeting on a yearly basis. The first of these sections is Family Discipleship and Evangelism. The stress in this section is that it is the father's job to be the primary teacher in his children's lives. The chapter on catechizing our kids is a wonderful read and defense for catechizing. The reasons why we do not anymore and the closing quote by BB Warfield are very insightful to our neglect of this wonderful technique on teaching sound doctrine to our kids. Part three is on Marriage Enrichment. This section is good. Much of the material can be found in Voddie's other writings or sermons, but the charge for men to lead is not one that gets old and certainly is worth hearing again. Part four covers Training and Discipline of Children. This section starts with a wonderful chapter on the implications of what we believe have on how we raise our kids and discipline them. The chapter centers on the differences in approach one has based on theology, namely, Augustinianism/Calvinism vs. Pelagianism/Semi-Pelagianism. This chapter is worth the price of the book in my opinion simply because if we have an improper view of self and sin it will ultimately shape the way we train our children. The next chapter on Formative Discipline is worth the price as well. Voddie walks through a book by Cotton Mather titled A Family Well Ordered and the chapter is filled with great advice and wisdom. The last section is on Lifestyle Evaluation and is certainly a good chapter to come back to and examine our lives. Overall this book does a wonderful job of laying out a pattern that would be beneficial to follow. As Paul said to be imitators of him as he was of Christ, we would do well as men to imitate much of what is in this book and to plead with God that the next generation of men would stand on biblical principles in their home.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Family Shepherds- A Book Review 5 Jan. 2012
By steve pack - Published on
Voddie Baucham, the preaching pastor of Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas and the author of Family Driven Faith, has written another book titled, Family Shepherds, seeking to help Christian men fulfill their God-given role as the shepherds of their families faith.

All Christians have heard the stories of the busy pastor, or the busy missionary who has great success in his ministry at the expense of his own family. As sad as that story is it is no less sad to see the busy Christian dad, who is not a "professional" of the church, struggle with success in the professional world and feel helpless as his family seems to fade away into the background. Many times the father, who truly desires to please God, feels as if he is failing. The problem reveals that the church is failing, or struggling, in the arena of discipleship. This either is not happening in proper equipping of men to study and obey the Word of God or in communicating the role of the church professional verses the role of the father in his home.

In his book, Bauchman observes the problem of men who desire to obey God by leading their families but become guilty of handing over their shepherding role to the church staff. He identifies some of the reasons this might be happening. Certainly one of the obvious reasons is that fathers don't feel spiritually mature themselves. While this is an issue, Bauchman doesn't let the local church off the hook, "it's important that we recognize the synergy between what we do as churches and what people do in their families....The things we do corporately will go a long way toward determining how much we can expect to change privately"(41). One of Bauchman's criticism of the church is that we are creating a culture that separates the family during Sunday services and a schedule that scatters the family in their place of worship. Bauchman spends the beginning chapters of his book arguing why this is not the biblical model and setting out a discipleship solution his church uses to solve the problem.

"The Bible leaves no room for fatherhood that doesn't take seriously the responsibility of raising children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Whether it's found in the Law, the Prophets, the Gospels, or the Epistles, our calling is clear. We must shepherd our families"(25).

Throughout the rest of his book, Bauchman spends time walking men through an overview of the type of discipleship needed to help them grow in their role as family shepherd. These areas include: heralding the Gospel in the home, the benefits of using a catechism, family worship, marriage enrichment, discipline seasoned with grace, and how to evaluate one's current life so they can make the necessary corrections.

Bauchman has done a service to churches and their men. He has written a book that clearly presents a biblical case for churches pouring into their men, so their men are equipped to pour into their families. He doesn't shy away from the hard message that many churches today are struggling in this area, especially in their weekly structure. He has created an argument that calls for prayerful consideration on the way we approach families in our churches. Regardless of the structure of your church Bauchman makes a strong case for what our churches need to be teaching men. The only issue with the discipleship areas is that each area potentially calls for its own book. Bauchman could never realistically cover everything in 179 pages. His book introduces these areas, but churches must pick up where he left off and fully expound upon these key areas of discipleship.

If you are a pastor concerned with the lack of leadership in the homes of your congregants, or if you are a father in need of discipleship and encouragement this book will the beginning of what you are looking for.
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good resource for men who strive to be family shepherds, but really doesn't go deep enough 18 Dec. 2011
By Rob - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Voddie Baucham's "Family Shepherds" gives a good amount of really good material for fathers who want to step up in taking the initiative in leading their wives and children spiritually, and while I really enjoyed the various steps offered in the book, and usually enjoy everything I read from Voddie, with this I came away feeling that it didn't go quite far enough or deep enough.

Voddie outlines the importance of the role of family shepherd and lays out, among other things, the importance of family worship, the primacy of the marriage relationship, training and discipline of children, as well as regular corporate worship. All of these are great, but so many of these sections seemed superficially breezy without really packing in material that men need to hear. The assumption I had with this book is that shepherding is a responsibility that many men have neglected in recent years, thus the importance of this book was calling and guiding men back to this task. An excellent intention, but so many parts of the book, such as the importance of catechism, left me a little dry, as Voddie speaks of the importance of catechism, but then leaves the section with "do your research to find the best catechism to fit your doctrine." What? This struck me as a cop-out. Again, in today's world Dad's aren't doing this, so why would he leave this point so open-ended? So, are fathers just supposed to jump onto Google and look up whatever catechism they can find? Rather, instead of skimping, Voddie could have easily jumped into the importance of something like the 1689 London Confession, or the Westminster standards, or any Biblically-solid catechism to help men get started, instead of leaving them dry. I would have loved more here, even as an appendix, with a sage hand pointing to some sound sources to get started.

Likewise, addressing the importance of singing hymns as a family: an excellent point, yet WHAT hymnals? Why does Voddie leave it to fathers to know what song books to use? Should we just go to Lifeway and pick up a generic "hymnal" on the shelves, just because some of the songs look "Biblical"? Why not offer up some specific examples, such as the Trinity hymnal, and justify it with some of the many reasons that back this a solid, Scripturally-sound hymnal to incorporate? We use, and love, the trinity hymnal, but it's details like that which would have really served to help point men to the right resources. Our Trinities are a little worn, and I'm always open to find other Biblically-solid hymnal to incorporate, so why couldn't there be more specific examples here?

I do agree with Voddie's remarks about the "3-legged stool, and think that is a good outline, but I found his second requirement for church leaders as being "Godly, manly pastors and elders" to be a little bit skimpy in his description. "Manly" elders? Pastor/theologians who come to mind that I greatly appreciate, such as Wayne Grudem and Edmund Clowney, aren't exactly the model of what I consider "manly", but rather as examples of well-educated teachers with an extraordinary understanding of the Bible. I think one of the issues I have with this Voddie's comment on elders, as well as with Grace Family church in general, is the practice of lay-eldership, or men without formal seminary training, serving as elders and teaching. "Manliness" isn't that big of a concern to me as much as men serving that are "not a novice" (1 Tim. 3:6 - neóphytos) if I'm expected to submit myself and my family to their leadership. Lay elders who work full-time in the market and then are expected to teach on weekends is no different than asking a guy who read a bunch of books on heart surgery to do my triple-bypass. No thanks. Maybe this sounds harsh, but I don't believe that deacon-qualified men should serve as elders, and Voddie could have put a little more Scriptural backing into what the Bible really says about the role of an elder, above and beyond just just qualities like "manly".

The Michael Pearl/pelagianism discussion (p. 116-118) was an entertaining detour. I'm amused (and a little alarmed) by this bearded, knife-throwing arminian, so it was interesting to to read Voddie's attack on Pearl's skewed behaviorism model. Voddie was right on spot regarding discipline, and this day and age, there can't be enough said about the need for Biblically-consistent discipline of children. The extensive references to Cotton Mather's teaching were a perfect outline to follow, and I really gained a lot from that particular section.

Family Shepherds is definitely worth the read, but again, it didn't go far enough for me. Sadly, I was also disappointed that there was virtually NOTHING about the father as the homeschooling leader. This was a notably huge absence, as I firmly believe that one of the family shepherd's principle responsibilities is to be actively involved in the homeschooling of the children - and I don't mean necessarily teaching every subject, but rather being extremely well-aware of what the curriculum is, including the worldview of the curriculum and the Biblical orientation it follows, and offering as much support as possible to the mother who labors to educate the children. A family shepherd, on a day off for example, should be completely capable of sitting down, picking up a teachers instruction manual, and jumping right in to be able to help guide and instruct their child, just as competently as the wife does, without excuse. A family shepherd should actively be seeking out ways to incorporate additional education after work, on weekends, etc, whenever possible, with a positive, engaged interest in the love of learning in their children. As a personal aside, I also believe that a family shepherd should be capable of picking up a spatula every now and then, being able to navigate a grocery store, and also change a diaper or two (thousand.) Family shepherds should loathe the Asherim that is television.

At the close of Family Shepherds, I found that even the resources in the appendix were disappointing, as these "tools" seemed more like copy-and-paste excepts from Grace Family's weekly bulletin, and felt more like a promotional vehicle for the church, and less of actual family shepherd tools. While I respect all that is put into the Grace Family church bulletins, to me, far more practical that simply seeing the list of family names to pray for would be to see, for instance, how do some of the different families of Grace Family conduct family worship? What are some of the general outlines that they follow? What songs do they use? Any Biblical study material they could recommend? Particular catechism? If (according to the appendix) the officers of Grace Family supposedly call/visit their members once a month, then there should be a wealth and bounty of practical examples to share of family worship framework examples, right? (e.g. "Jim and Tammy" follow this particular model: Jim opens with prayer, their oldest daughter plays a solo hymn on the piano, the oldest son reads a chapter from Old Testament, father then reads a study guide based on the chapter, etc, etc. Another model is the Smith family, that uses this general outline: etc, etc...) Again, this book exists because Dad's aren't naturally performing as family shepherds today - so give Dad's more resources and actual tools and examples to help them! I seriously don't think Voddie could have overdone it with examples. Pack in more punch, instead of leaving me dry, which is how I felt at the end of reading.

A side-note on the graphic design, when I took the book out of the Amazon envelope, I was studying the lower middle portion of the book for awhile, as it appeared initially that mold spots were growing on the cover (had the book been damaged at the Amazon factory with moisture?) Apparently that's the design, but the seeming appearance of mold dots on a smooth paperback cover didn't make a great initial impression.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family Shepherds in Review 1 Feb. 2012
By TransformingWords - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Darrin Patrick has said that there is a "man crisis" in today's church. One could argue that this is a consistent theme among God's people, and humanity in general, beginning with Adam. Mark Driscoll has said that in becoming a Christian, particularly for men, we must put forth an effort to be like Jesus and not like our earthly father Adam. While both of these statements ring true, it has left me with a question of how men are to step up and do what we can to resolve this "man crisis" by being more like Jesus and less like Adam. This is why I am incredibly grateful for Pastor Voddie Baucham's latest book, Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes, which Crossway books was kind enough to send me as part of their book review program.

In this book, Baucham rightly points out several key components that will enable men to step up and fill the gap we are leaving in today's church. The first point, and this is crucial, men must step up and lead in their homes first (1 Tim. 3:4-5). He must lead his family in the study of Scripture and teach them about the Christian faith. Baucham spends the first few chapters examining why men are to lead their homes and churches, and how he believes that should look in the home and in church.

True, many men aren't pastors or home group leaders. Many men have no formal Biblical training, and feel inept at the idea of teaching Theology. This may be due to laziness (because today we really have no excuse to not immerse ourselves in the wealth of solid Biblical teaching available online) or it may be due to simply being a new Christian. Yet, they are still commanded to lead their families in spiritual matters and in the teaching of doctrine. So, what do these men have to offer their children when they are just learning themselves? I love Baucham's answer: Catechism.

Those who have only heard the word "catechism" in a snide reference to the Catholic church may be apprehensive at the mere mention of the word. However, catechism is merely a way of methodically teaching Christian doctrine. This will serve both fathers and children well because as the father teaches his children (and I would add his wife, if she is a new believer), he also teaches himself. Catechism can range from simple questions with simple answers, to questions with more complex answers, and also includes Scripture references supporting the answers to help one gain both Biblical and Theological literacy.

The biggest thing I love about Baucham's book is that he pulls frequently from Scripture, but he also pulls from the wisdom of the Puritans and the Theologians of the past. This did make the book somewhat hard to read in certain places, but it is well worth the effort. Baucham does a fantastic job of presenting a gospel-centered, Christ-exalting view of what a family shepherd looks like, and how men can better lead their homes and churches.
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